As reported by The Sun’s Alan Nixon, Crystal Palace are hoping to beat arch-rivals Brighton to the signing of Chelsea star Reece James, who is currently enjoying a stint out-on-loan with Wigan.
CHELSEA. Want to send brilliant Reece James on loan to Europe next season. However that might not suit the lad. One to watch. BRIGHTON PALACE want to buy.
— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) March 10, 2019
Well, according to Nixon, the Blues are keen on sending James out on loan once again next season, although that may not be what suits James the most.
The Eagles and the Seagulls are keen to buy the England Under-21 international outright, although that may prove difficult what with Chelsea’s failure to successfully appeal their transfer ban.
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James is one of England’s top talents and has been earning rave reviews for his performances in the Championship this season, where he has excelled in his 36 appearances for the Latics – the 19-year-old also has a goal and two assists to his name, whilst he has shown his versatility by playing right-back and centre-midfield impressively.
Given the right-back situation at Stamford Bridge this season, in which Cesar Azpilicueta seems to be struggling with the demands of Maurizio Sarri, whilst backup option Davide Zappacosta doesn’t appear to be trusted by the Italian, there is a realistic pathway into the first-team.
However, as we have seen in Sarri’s refusal to grant consistent first-team minutes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, it doesn’t matter how well the young players perform at Chelsea, they never seem to be rewarded for their efforts.
The transfer ban could change that, but if not, James must seek a way out of west London if he is to fulfil his obvious vast potential, or he risks ending up in the period of stagnation that the aforementioned duo currently find themselves in.
As we saw in Bayern Munich’s protracted transfer saga over Hudson-Odoi in January, however, it won’t be easy for Palace or Brighton to prise James away from Chelsea – the teenager should force his way out, especially to Palace if the Eagles lose Aaron Wan-Bissaka.